GERMANY - Germany's open-ended real estate funds returned strong growth in 2009 and well into 2010, a new survey revealed today.

Of the 39 funds surveyed, those administered by Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft (CRI), Union Investment Real Estate and the KanAm Group all witnessed dramatic growth, increasing each company's share of the total of open-ended funds by between two to five percent in 2009.

Figures put together by Kommalpha in Germany reveal Union Investment's fund value rose from €12.9bn to €15.2bn, increasing the company's share in the overall open-ended real estate fund market to 17.5%, making it the largest investor ahead of Deka Immobilien, with 14.7%, and CRI with a 13.9% share of the market.

KanAm Grund Spezial's smaller investment vehicle, with €409m of investments, also substantially increased its share of the market and is now up by 5% to 0.5%.

However, despite the growth, two companies were forced to close funds, with both Deka Immobilien and Westinvest shutting one each.

Additionally, Morgan Stanley's fund lost 18% of total investments between December 2007 and the end of 2009, with initial figures from January this year pointing towards a recovery and uptake in investment.

Overall, and despite the closure of the two funds, real estate investment fared well. Between 2007 and January this year the combined assets of all 23 companies funds rose by €4.9bn to €88.4bn total, making up 6.4% of all German investment funds.